Posture plays such an important role in your overall wellbeing! When you stand straight and move right, your joints and connective tissues work with your bones and muscles to keep everything working smoothly. But poor posture can lead to a wide range of problems, everything from stiff muscles to joint pains. It’s vital that you work on correcting your posture so you can move more easily and with less pain. Here are some simple exercises to improve your posture effectively:
Stretching isn’t your typical resistance training exercise, but it should be included in literally EVERY workout you do. It’s one of the best exercises to improve your posture, as it lengthens your muscles and connective tissues and helps to keep everything aligned. It will also decrease the risk of injury and stiffness before, during, and after your workout. Spend at least 5-15 minutes per day just stretching!
Table is a great pose that helps to straighten your spine and work your shoulder muscles. Sit on your butt with your hands flat on the floor behind your body and your knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Rest your weight on your hands and feet and lift your pelvis until your body is forming a table, with your torso flat, arms straight, and knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Hold for 30-60 seconds.
This movement does wonders to work your core, but it can also help to improve your posture and correct balance problems. Start on your hands and knees, with your hands beneath your shoulders and your back straight. Extend your right arm and left leg until they’re fully straight, hold for a 1-count, then return them to their original position. Repeat, this time with the left arm and right leg. Use your core to maintain proper balance.
This classic movement is an excellent stretch for your lower and upper back, and can do wonders to improve your spinal alignment. Begin on your hands and knees, with your back straight and your hands beneath your shoulders. Go into Cow pose by tilting your head back and pushing your spine down toward the ground, all without moving your hands or legs. After a 2-count, arch your back the other way and tuck your chin to your chest. You’ll feel the loosening in your spinal muscles as you repeat this exercise.
This Yoga pose is amazing for your lower back and will help to stretch out your upper back and neck as well. Lie face down on the floor. Place your hands just beneath your armpits, as close to your shoulders as possible. Press up to lift your upper body and core off the ground, until your arms are extended and you can feel most of the weight on your lower legs. Look up to emphasize the stretch and take a few deep breaths. Finish by transitioning into Downward Dog to stretch your spine the other way.
All-Fours Belly Lift
Another great movement for your upper back! Get on your hands and knees, arching your spine upward and tucking your butt tight underneath your body. Rest your weight on your hands (shifting slightly forward), then raise one hand a few inches off the ground WITHOUT shifting the weight noticeably to the other hand or twisting your torso. Feel the stretch in your back and the burn in your abs as you count to five, then lower the hand. Repeat on the other side. This will do wonders to improve your balance and strengthen your core.